Nenad Krstic played 80 games, Lamond Murray, Scott Padgett and Bostjan Nachbar came off the bench, Orlando's current head coach was the backup PG, and Uncle Cliffy got suspended in the playoffs against Shaq and the eventual champion Miami Heat.
The year was 2006, and it was the last time the Nets finished a season with more wins than losses.
The Nets salted away their 42nd win of the season and their franchise-record 20th road victory behind an incredible, amazing, unbelievable performance by PF Reggie Evans. Evans posted his career highs with 22 points and 26 rebounds (!) as he continually shredded the helpless Blazers frontcourt.
Indeed, Brooklyn's front line of Evans, Brook Lopez and Andray Blatche were no match for Portland's J.J. Hickson and LaMarcus Aldridge. They combined for 52 points on 26-41 shooting and helped the visitors to a healthy 65-49 advantage on the boards. The Nets had an insane 74 points in the paint. PG Deron Williams struggled from the floor, but dished out 10 assists, played some inspired defense on shoo-in Rookie-of-the-Year Damian Lillard, and generally kept things running as well as possible.
Through three quarters, the Nets never took their foot off the gas - amassing a seemingly insurmountable 95-69 lead. However, Portland's well-rested bench - the least effective in the NBA - put up a fight against the Nets backups and guys like Meyers Leonard and Will Barton drew the Blazers as close as 14. That caused coach P.J. Carlesimo to re-insert Evans and the rest of the starters, who closed things out.
Aldridge did some damage on offense, putting up 24 points on 11-14 shooting, but that was the lone bright spot for the home side, who were never really in the game from the outset.
The Nets also went to 4-1 on what has become a fantastic road trip. The three games remaining are against the smoking hot Nuggets, the tough-at-home Jazz and the free-falling Cavaliers. If the Nets can take at least one of the next two, it would be an historic trip that could give the team confidence going into the playoffs.
- Box Score - NBA.com
- Game Highlights: Nets vs. Blazers (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets vs. Blazers - Game Recap (Video) - NBA.com
- Williams to Evans (Video) - NBA.com
- Batum's Big Block (Video) - NBA.com
- Aldridge Injured (Video) - NBA.com
- Evans (22 points, 26 rebounds) leads Nets - Anne M. Peterson - AP
- Evans discusses his performance after win in Portland (Video) - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Lopez discusses the 111-93 win over the Trail Blazers (Video) - YES Network
- Carlesimo on the Nets' big win in Portland (Video) - YES Network
- Despite eye problems, Evans leads Nets to victory - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Carlesimo: Nets have no regrets about missing out on Blazers star rookie Lillard - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Rapid Reaction: Nets 111, Blazers 93 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Evans records career night in Portland - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Brooklyn Nets blow out Portland Trail Blazers as Reggie Evans goes for career-highs in points and rebounds - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Revisiting the Gerald Wallace trade that helped shape two franchises - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Reggie Evans (22 points, 26 rebounds) leads Nets past Trail Blazers - Rod Boone - Newsday
- 'Evans Guides Nets to Another Road Victory - Jake Appleman - New York Times
- Nets 111, Blazers 93 (Game Grades) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Blazers Insider: Blazers big loss to Nets should produce lesson in playoff preparation - Jason Quick - The Oregonian
- Blazers lay an untimely egg against Nets in 111-93 home loss - Mike Tokito - The Oregonian
- Trail Blazers suffer embarrassing loss to Nets, 111-93 (video) - Sean Meagher - The Oregonian
- Evans 'a monster' as Nets put hurt on Blazers - Kerry Eggers - Portland Tribune
- Nets deal Blazers' hopes crushing blow - Candace Buckner - The Columbian